TECH
10/07/2013 07:25 BST | Updated 09/09/2013 06:12 BST

Apple App Store 'Dominated By Zombie Apps' Claims BBC

Apple's App Store has just celebrated its fifth birthday - and the stats (it chooses to release) about its success are pretty impressive.

$10 billion paid out to developers? 50 billion apps downloaded? More than 900,000 apps available to buy?

Not bad.

But according to a new report, the core of Apple's app store might just be a little - excuse the obvious pun - rotten.

Figures quoted by the BBC and based on data by tracking service Adeven apparently suggest that two-thirds of all apps in Apple's store are "barely ever" downloaded.

Apple claims that 90% of apps in the store are downloaded at least once a month - but that would still mean more than 90,000 are virtually dead weight.

And Adeven claims the reality is much worse. Focusing on the US version of the store, it said that 579,001 out of 888,586 in its database are "zombies".

Those apps appear nowhere in Apple's "most downloaded" list, which runs to more than 300,000 entries.

"We can't say exactly how many downloads they have - Apple doesn't reveal this - but it is very small," Adeven told the BBC.

Experts said the issue was "common" for app stores, and not unique to Apple.

"If you're a new developer, it's hard to get visibility for your apps in any app store," said Paolo Pescatore at CCS Insight.

"We track the top apps being downloaded from all the major app stores and it's always the same names. We very rarely see new players breaking through. They face a monumental challenge."

Apple remains bullish about the app store's success however. Alongside its raft of positive stats, it's also made a number of its best-selling games and apps free for this week only to celebrate its birthday.